updated 02:00 pm EDT, Tue September 20, 2011
Claims MS blocked license sales by third parties
Spain has started an antitrust probe against Microsoft after that country's National Competition Commission said it had collected information that could indicate a potential violation. The investigation centers on charges that Microsoft's business units in Spain and Ireland allegedly blocked the sale of software licenses by third parties. The investigation must be completed within 18 months.
The Redmond software giant and the European Union have clashed repeatedly over the years. In 2004, Microsoft was ordered to publish code to allow rivals to develop software with better integration with Windows and Office. A second infraction for the same offense in 2008 brought a record fine of $1.4 billion against the company. Another confrontation over the inclusion Internet Explorer in Windows was resolved when Microsoft agreed to release a special version of Windows 7 without a browser.
Microsoft is expected to contest any antitrust allegations, although it has historically fared poorly in contesting antitrust claims from Europe. [via MarketWatch]